Saturday, September 14, 2013

Trade Fairs, Milan and You

If you are a business person thinking about displaying your wares in today's (really big) Italian version of an all-year-round county fair, then go here. Milan has two venues: the old/renewed/being renewed venue in town now called "FieraMilanoCity" seen in this post's first snap and the new venue called "FieraMilano" just outside of Milan, in Rho-Pero. The web site is also in English, yeah!

Even if you want to come to Milan "just" for tourism, it's in your best interest to check the link out, anyway. Why?......More......

Because if you can avoid the times of the really big trade fairs (the furniture and design fair, the female ready-to-wear fairs and--to a lesser extent--the male ready-to-wear fairs), it'll be MUCH easier to find a good hotel room, to avoid the public transportation rush and squash and to get a cab.

Not a business person flaunting your wares, but the theme of the fair sounds fascinating to you? Check out the info, anyway. The trade fairs often have days when the general public can visit the stands, for an entry fee, of course.

It's a madhouse, but an interesting madhouse, and worth the experience, if only just once. (Worried about getting hungry and thirsty? Fear not, there are vendors for that, too.)

The trade fair area in town, FieraMilanoCity, began in the 1920s, has been renewed over the years, and currently is being renewed. Part of the structures still are in use, so if you have a smaller fair or convention you'd like to position in Milan, they might have just the space you need. Can't say whether they're going to revamp the 1920s entrance buildings for the Fiera or for City Life. Just as long as they do. On the other side of the Fiera is a gigantic crumbly metal blanket thing. If it isn't a Fuksas, it's in his style.

Adjacent to it is the CityLife project. I've looked at their web site. It's not clear whether the area and project ultimately still belong to the FieraMilano people, or if the area abandoned during the move to Rho-Pera was sold by FieraMilano to new owners--whoever they are--of the CityLife project.

Upshot? The requalification of the area will include a stop of one of the new metro lines, gardens, businesses and mini-highrise hootingly ridiculously expensive designer housing some of which already looks pretty silly to me...this one's shaping up to look like a retro idea of a 1930s cruise ship heaved up onto land (see below for the "novelty" comment). One plus: it's outside the current ecology-conscious traffic-limiting "Area C", so whoever will live there won't have to pay through the nose to come and go...but they'll be so rich, they probably wouldn't worry about that, anyway.

I'm glad that it appears they'll also be salvaging another of the older structures (whether for the Fiera or, more probably given the area, City Life, I don't know): a large domed oval structure, currently obstructed by scaffolding, so here's an older snap.

Similarly, the new web-like glass and metal structure of the Rho-Pero site by the architect Fuksas has garnered a lot of praise and criticism. To confess straight away, stuff that is novel just to be novel really irritates me. Looking at it from far away, one of my first thoughts was (and remains): "It looks like a gigantic hole-y crumpled blanket. It's going to be impossible to keep clean, and glass looks so awful when its clogged with gunk. What a stupid idea!" Architects, beware. Natural rain is not sufficient.

That said, being under the big web is more pleasant than I expected. First off, a roof of some kind was necessary to favor the trade fair during wintery weather. The undulations psychologically lead you to keep on going (clever, that). Being open on the sides keeps the air fresh, but fear not, that's just the main walkway. The actual area with the trade stands is enclosed, and is just what you'd expect: gigantic halls packed with stands and--the vendors hope--people.

One word to the wise: if you are taking the metro or busses out to the new Rho-Pero Fiera, it's just outside of Milan's city limits, so there is a surcharge on the tickets. Don't forget to get the supplement! Little by little, all the metro stations are being fitted with--sigh--automatic ticket controls for going OUT, as well as for coming IN, so you'll get all the way there, and you won't hear that magic friendly beep with the green light. You'll be stuck in the metro, and even if you get out, you won't be able to get back in, and get home.


1 comment:

Margaret said...

Love that building with the silver cool roof.

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